September 13, 2006

SitePal: The Demise of Technorati?

If you've been to Technorati lately, you've seen them. They're everywhere. Watching you. Talking to you. Asking you to tell them things to say back to you. Animated avatars. SitePals.

These things ruin my user experience. The only thing I find useful with them is to tell them to say things that Technorati probably wouldn't like them to say.

Try it: "Hello, I am a SitePal. I'm a way to add dynamic, talking characters to your website. Think about it. You know it's the one decoration on your website that is missing. Ever since you got rid of the rotating 'e' for email. And the construction worker icon for 'under construction.'"

Or how about: "You probably think I am very annoying, distracting, and in the way. You're right. I'm a SitePal. Designed to ruin your experience. Sitepal. The surest way to make a site jump the shark. Let me help you make your site jump the shark too, today!"

Endless fun for the whole family.

(Looks like I'm not the only one who thinks SitePals are lame. Then again, maybe there are a few fans.) Posted by brian at September 13, 2006 07:31 AM

Comments

Wow. When I first saw this, I thought it woz advertising, and my brain completely tuned it out.

Now I know it's a feature I need to ignore, not advertising, I feel better informed!

Posted by: Tom at September 13, 2006 09:45 AM

The use of the correct spelling of 'woz' fails to post due to content restrictions. Weird.

Posted by: Tom at September 13, 2006 09:47 AM

They're awful. I couldn't believe it when I first saw it.

Posted by: Noah Brier at September 13, 2006 08:14 PM

Absolutely agree. They are annoying and pointless unless you put them there to annoy people. Had written something similar on my own blog after I saw one on Fred Wilson's blog.

Posted by: John Wilson at September 16, 2006 01:40 AM


Iím Yujin Sohn from SitePal Marketing. I sincerely apologize if our speaking ads on Technorati caused your online experience to be unpleasant. Our ads are designed to speak only when a user rolls over to initiate the audio. However, a technical bug we experienced a couple of weeks ago caused the banners to speak on-load against our intention. On finding this, we changed all banners running on Technorati to audio-on-click, which doesnít speak until the user clicks on it. We also tightened the ad frequency cap, limiting the number of times a unique user is exposed to our banners a day.

If you are willing to give us another chance, we would like to offer you a SitePal custom speaking character. Your input will be very valuable once you try various features of SitePal on your blog and provide us with frank feedback about your likes and dislikes. Please shoot me an email at yujin@oddcast.com if this interests you or if you would like to know more about how other bloggers use SitePal.

Thank you and I apologize again for any inconvenience our Technorati ads may have caused you.

Posted by: Yujin Sohn at September 26, 2006 09:49 AM

Iím Yujin Sohn from SitePal Marketing. I sincerely apologize if our speaking ads on Technorati caused your online experience to be unpleasant. After a technical bug made our banners speak on-load (something we never intended), we changed all banners running on Technorati to audio-on-click, which doesnít speak until the user clicks on it. We also tightened the ad frequency cap, limiting the number of times a unique user is exposed to our banners a day.

If you are willing to give us another chance, we would like to offer you a SitePal custom speaking character to use on your blog and websites. Once you play around with your customized character, your frank feedback will be really valuable to us. Please shoot me an email at yujin@oddcast.com if this interests you or if you would like to know more about how other bloggers use SitePal.

Thank you and I apologize again for any inconvenience our Technorati ads may have caused you.

Posted by: Yujin Sohn at September 26, 2006 09:53 AM

Yujin, you're not listening. I think SitePals are obnoxious. The last thing I would do is to put one on my own blog. The only reason I would do that is if I didn't want to visit and read my own blog anymore.

Posted by: Brian Dear at September 28, 2006 10:34 AM

Brian,

I understand that everyone has a different preference and I respect your opinion. I wanted to make this offer just because our speaking ads were a very limited (and probabaly not the best) experience a user can have with our technology.

For example, most of our users use their own voice instead of comupter generated voice and activate the player setting to give their visitors a control over the audio. See an example here http://www.jeffsweather.com/

I also wanted to listen to your honest feedback on our product as i beleived contructive criticism could help us improve our product.

Your feedback on our speaking ads was already very helpful for us, and I appreciate it once again.

Posted by: Yujin Sohn at September 29, 2006 08:07 AM

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